Thorstein Veblen’s The Theory of The Leisure Class In 2011, Thorstein Veblen was ranked seventh in a poll of economists on their favourite, dead, 20th century economist. He ranked behind Keynes, Friedman, Samuelson, Hayek, Schumpeter and Galbraith. His supporters were … Continue reading Conspicuous leisure
Spend Your Money on Whatever You Want Perhaps it is unsurprising that in the age of Marie Kondo, we have bought into the idea that we should stop spending our hard-earned money on stuff. There’s a whole slew of social … Continue reading Which one would make you happier?
Costly Curves Western cultures tend to associate thinness with beauty, health, self-discipline, success, and economic value. Research by Marisabel Romero and Adam Craig, recently published in the Journal of Consumer Research, shows that these associations can have an unconscious effect … Continue reading Big spenders
Taxes on Unhealthy Food Are Ineffective and Hurt the Poor Over the past decade or so, paternalistic objections to fat, sugar, and salt have gained traction among policymakers, mostly at the state and local levels of government. Predictably, new taxes … Continue reading Regressive taxes on poor people
How do we measure well-being? Opinions differ on the definition of well-being. Yet there’s a growing consensus that it cannot be reduced to material consumption and that other aspects of life, such as health and good social relations, are essential … Continue reading Is happiness just satisfaction?
What Do People Order at Cocktail Bars? The cocktail is arguably the greatest of America’s early cultural inventions. The martini, cosmopolitan, and long island iced tea are not just nice ways to get a buzz—they represent the beginning of an … Continue reading The cocktail illusion
Still ticking: The improbable survival of the luxury watch business On 17 March 2016, the watch manufacturer Breitling opened a lavish new stall at Baselworld, the world’s biggest watch fair, to show off its latest marvels. There was the Avenger … Continue reading When time was still our friend